Opening the NSR to international trade will take diligent study in all relevant fields and unflagging effort.
In Japan, no tradition exists of interest in the "lands to the north." Partly this is a legacy from the isolationism of the Edo era, when Japan deliberately turned its back on the north and indeed the outside world; partly it is a hangover from many years of acrimonious Russo-Japan relations. With slight exaggeration, it might be said that even academic circles preferred the Antarctic to the Arctic, to avoid the unpleasant and troublesome negotiations necessary for academic activities in the Arctic region. It would be a shame if Japan were to carry into the 21st century the sorry legacy of the Second World War. The opening of the NSR marks a historic opportunity for this island nation to contribute to the global community as an integral component of it. For industries such as shipping and fisheries, for diplomacy and for the Japanese national interest, it is time for a radical reappraisal of Japan's basic orientation toward the waters of the north.